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Nicola Adams Says She’s Encountered Racism And Sexism In Boxing, But Never Homophobia

Nicola Adams: I suffered racism and sexism in boxing, but never any homophobia
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Nicola Adams became the first woman to secure an Olympic boxing title when she won gold at London 2012 and is also the reigning Olympic, World, Commonwealth Games and European champion at flyweight.

Asked by GQ magazine about whether she encounters prejudice in the sport, the British boxer (who is bisexual) said:

Racism, yes. Sexism, yes, in boxing: people saying women shouldn’t box. I’ve never come across homophobia.

The racism was more when I was younger, in primary school, and it’s about kids not understanding. I used to struggle with being called black. I said, ‘No, look at me, I’m brown’.

My mother’s side is quite mixed. She’s mixed race, my uncles and my auntie have white partners, my stepdad is white. I was always used to seeing white and black round the table. I never understood why people would be racist.”

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Adams says she realised she was bisexual aged 15, and has gone on to top the list of Britain’s most influential LGBT people.

It was quite a scary thought for me at the time. You never know how the family is going to react, so I was nervous.

Mum was in the kitchen washing up and I was like, ‘I’ve got something to tell you’. I was so nervous, I was really sweating.

She said ‘What’s wrong?’ and I was just like ‘I’m bisexual’ and she said ‘OK… put the kettle on’.”

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This year in Rio Adams successfully defended her gold medal, but said her greatest regret was never meeting her hero, Muhammad Ali, who died in June.

I would loved to have met him and said, ‘You are the reason I wanted to become an Olympic champion too’.

He will always be known, he’ll always be there, the greatest who ever lived.

Nobody will ever forget him.”

Read the full interview in the December issue of GQ, on sale Monday.

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Suzie Carter is the Senior Women’s Writer at KitschMix. Listed among her achievements are performing stand-up, graduating from London Met and writing for her favourite publications. She enjoys covering women’s topics, watching celebrities self-destruct and rising to any occasion.

One Comment

  • An says:

    Sometimes a bi person doesn’t experience homophobia because; they are in a relationship with a man and people assume they are straight; or because they don’t tell anyone in a personal convo that they are bi; so no-one is homophobic because – no-one is aware that the person is anything other than straight. Whereas sex and race are often obvious. I don’t think it’s constructive or helpful for her to get praise and p.r. and support for being a lgbt community member – only to then say “it’s not a problem for me” – like thanks a lot for that, that is sooo helpful for the lgbt+ community. She could at least have mentioned bi erasure, or something?

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